Surah Nahl >> Currently viewing Surah Nahl Ayat 120 (16:120)

Surah Nahl Ayat 120 in Arabic Text

إِنَّ إِبْرَٰهِيمَ كَانَ أُمَّةًۭ قَانِتًۭا لِّلَّهِ حَنِيفًۭا وَلَمْ يَكُ مِنَ ٱلْمُشْرِكِينَ
Inna Ibraaheema kaana ummatan qaanital lillaahi Haneefanw wa lam yakuminal mushrikeen

English Translation

Here you can read various translations of verse 120

Sahih International
Indeed, Abraham was a [comprehensive] leader, devoutly obedient to Allah, inclining toward truth, and he was not of those who associate others with Allah.

Yusuf Ali
Abraham was indeed a model, devoutly obedient to Allah, (and) true in Faith, and he joined not gods with Allah:

Abul Ala Maududi
Indeed Abraham was a whole community by himself, obedient to Allah, exclusively devoted to Him. And he was never one of those who associated others with Allah in His Divinity.

Muhsin Khan
Verily, Ibrahim (Abraham) was an Ummah (a leader having all the good righteous qualities), or a nation, obedient to Allah, Hanifa (i.e. to worship none but Allah), and he was not one of those who were Al-Mushrikun (polytheists, idolaters, disbelievers in the Oneness of Allah, and those who joined partners with Allah).

Pickthall
Lo! Abraham was a nation obedient to Allah, by nature upright, and he was not of the idolaters;

Dr. Ghali
Surely, Ibrahîm (Abraham) was a nation, (i.e., a leader,Imam) devout to Allah, unswervingly upright, and he was not of the associators, (Those who associate others with Allah)

Abdel Haleem
Abraham was truly an example: devoutly obedient to God and true in faith. He was not an idolater;

Quran 16 Verse 120 Explanation

For those looking for commentary to help with the understanding of Surah Nahl ayat 120, we’ve provided two Tafseer works below. The first is the tafseer of Abul Ala Maududi, the second is of Ibn Kathir.

Ala-Maududi

(16:120) Indeed Abraham was a whole community by himself,[119] obedient to Allah, exclusively devoted to Him. And he was never one of those who associated others with Allah in His Divinity.


119. “Abraham was a whole community by himself” for at that time he was the only Muslim in the whole world who was upholding the banner of Islam, while the rest of the world was upholding the banner of unbelief. As that servant of Allah performed the mission which is ordinarily carried out by a whole community, he was not one person but an institution in himself.

Ibn-Kathir

120. Verily, Ibrahim was (himself) an Ummah, obedient to Allah, a Hanif (monotheist), and he was not one of the idolators. 121. (He was) thankful for His favors. He (Allah) chose him and guided him to a straight path. 122. And We gave him good in this world, and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous. 123. Then, We have sent the revelation to you: “Follow the religion of Ibrahim (he was a) Hanif, and he was not one of the idolators.”


He selected him, as Allah says :

﴿وَلَقَدْ ءَاتَيْنَآ إِبْرَهِيمَ رُشْدَهُ مِن قَبْلُ وَكُنَّا بِهِ عَـلِمِينَ ﴾

(And before, We indeed gave Ibrahim his integrity, and We were indeed most knowledgeable about him)(21:51). Then Allah says:

﴿وَهَدَاهُ إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ﴾

(and guided him to a straight path.) which means to worship Allah alone, without partners or associate, in the manner that He prescribed and which pleases Him.

﴿وَءاتَيْنَـهُ فِى الْدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً﴾

(And We gave him good in this world,) meaning, `We granted him all that a believer may require for a good and complete life in this world.’

﴿وَإِنَّهُ فِى الاٌّخِرَةِ لَمِنَ الصَّـلِحِينَ﴾

(and in the Hereafter he shall be of the righteous.) Concerning the Ayah:

﴿وَءاتَيْنَـهُ فِى الْدُّنْيَا حَسَنَةً﴾

(And We gave him good in this world,) Mujahid said: “This means a truthful tongue.”

﴿ثُمَّ أَوْحَيْنَآ إِلَيْكَ أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفًا﴾

(Then, We have sent the revelation to you: “Follow the religion of Ibrahim (he was a) Hanif. ..) meaning, `because of his perfection, greatness, and the soundness of his Tawhid and his way, We revealed to you, O Seal of the Messengers and Leader of the Prophets ,’

﴿أَنِ اتَّبِعْ مِلَّةَ إِبْرَهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ﴾

(Follow the religion of Ibrahim (he was a) Hanif and he was not of the idolators.) This is like the Ayah in Surat Al-An`am:

﴿قُلْ إِنَّنِى هَدَانِى رَبِّى إِلَى صِرَطٍ مُّسْتَقِيمٍ دِينًا قِيَمًا مِّلَّةَ إِبْرَاهِيمَ حَنِيفًا وَمَا كَانَ مِنَ الْمُشْرِكِينَ ﴾

(Say: “Truly, my Lord has guided me to a straight path, a right religion, the religion of Ibrahim, (he was a) Hanif and he was not of the idolators.”) (6:161). Then Allah rebukes the Jews,

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